x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Dubai Police to offer rewards for reporting Ramadan beggars

Police have deployed 60 patrols, including an undercover group, with the special task of catching beggars, which spikes during the holy month.

DUBAI// Rewards will be offered to people who report beggars during Ramadan, police said today.

"We need to convince the public of the importance of their co-operation as it will help us locate the risk areas," said Col Mohammed Al Muhairy, director of the tourism security department at Dubai Police.

"Catching beggars is a very difficult task, as the whole act takes a maximum of five minutes, so public information can help us."

Police have deployed 60 patrols, including an undercover group, with the special task of catching beggars. Teams from the Municipality and Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department are also taking part in the effort.

Dubai has been divided into three zones - green, yellow and red - according to how often they are visited by beggars.

So far this year, 264 people have been arrested for begging in the emirate. Last year, 657 people were arrested for begging - 169 of them during Ramadan.

Col Al Muhairy said the type and level of rewards had yet to be decided. The campaign will last throughout Ramadan, which is expected to start on July 21.

Members of the public are urged to contact police on a special free number, 800243.

wissa@thenational.ae